|Publication number||US7072539 B2|
|Application number||US 11/053,182|
|Publication date||Jul 4, 2006|
|Filing date||Feb 7, 2005|
|Priority date||Aug 8, 2002|
|Also published as||US7336867, US20050213877, US20060291773, WO2004015469A1|
|Publication number||053182, 11053182, US 7072539 B2, US 7072539B2, US-B2-7072539, US7072539 B2, US7072539B2|
|Inventors||Ming-Chiang Wu, Jui-che Tsai|
|Original Assignee||The Regents Of The University Of California|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Non-Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (24), Classifications (19), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims priority from, and is a 35 U.S.C. § 111(a) continuation of, PCT international application serial number PCT/US03/17043 filed on May 30, 2003 which designates the U.S., incorporated herein by reference in its entirety, and which in turn claims priority from U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/402,387 filed on Aug. 8, 2002, incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
This invention was made with Government support under Grant No. N66001-00-C-8088, awarded by DARPA/SPARWAR. The Government has certain rights in this invention.
A portion of the material in this patent document is subject to copyright protection under the copyright laws of the United States and of other countries. The owner of the copyright rights has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the United States Patent and Trademark Office publicly available file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever. The copyright owner does not hereby waive any of its rights to have this patent document maintained in secrecy, including without limitation its rights pursuant to 37 C.F.R. § 1.14.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention pertains generally to wavelength-selective switches (WSS), and more particularly to a 1×N2 WSS that uses a two-dimensional array of input/output fibers whereby the number of output ports are significantly increased.
2. Description of Related Art
Wavelength-selective switches (WSS) that support individual wavelength switching are of great interest for transparent optical networks. Recent advances in WSS technologies have revolutionized optical fiber communication networks. Wavelength-selective switches have received a great deal of attention because their ability to route different wavelength channels independently. For example, Ford et al. proposed the first MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems)—based optical add/drop multiplexer (OADM) using a digital micromirror array (J. E. Ford, V. A. Aksyuk, D. J. Bishop, and J. A. Walker, “Wavelength add-drop switching using tilting micromirrors,” J. Lightwave Technology, vol. 17, p. 904–11, 1999, incorporated herein by reference). The use of MEMS micromirrors offers lower insertion loss and faster speed than liquid-crystal-based OADM (J. S. Patel and Y. Silberberg, “Liquid crystal and grating-based multiple-wavelength cross-connect switch,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett., 7, 514–516 (1995), incorporated herein by reference). This OADM is essentially a 1×1 wavelength-selective switch; however, a multiport wavelength-selective switch can be realized by replacing the digital micromirrors with analog micromirrors and expanding the input/output fibers into a linear array. This is a useful network element because it can be used either as a versatile multiport add-drop multiplexer or as a basic building block for N×N wavelength-selective crossconnect (WSXC).
Several 1×N WSS configurations also have been reported. Examples of such configurations as described in D. M. Marom, et al., “Wavelength-selective 1×4 switch for 128 WDM channels at 50 GHz spacing,” 2002 Optical Fiber Communication (OFC) Conference, Postdeadline Papers (FB7), Anaheim, Calif., Mar. 17–24, 2002, FB7, incorporated herein by reference; A. R. Ranalli, B. A. Scott, J. P. Kondis, “Liquid crystal-based wavelength selectable cross-connect,” ECOC 1999, incorporated herein by reference; T. Ducellier, et al., “The MWS 1×4: a high performance wavelength switching building block,” ECOC 2002, incorporated herein by reference; and S. Huang, J. C. Tsai, D. Hah, H, Toshiyoshi, and M. C. Wu, “Open-loop operation of MEMS WDM routers with analog micromirror array,” 2002 IEEE/LEOS Optical MEMS Conf., incorporated herein by reference.
Such switches are basic building blocks for N×N fully non-blocking wavelength-selective optical crossconnect. In current switch designs, however, the port count is limited by optical diffraction. Note that the switches reported to date are generally limited to 1×4, though adding circulators to each port can double the port count.
It will be appreciated that larger port count (≧10) WSS configurations are needed for high capacity networks. The present invention satisfies that need, as well as others, and overcomes limitations in current WSS switch designs.
The present invention comprises a 1×N2 wavelength selective switch (WSS) configuration. In accordance with an aspect of the invention, the input or output fibers are arranged in a two-dimensional (2D) array rather than in a one-dimensional (1D) array.
The present invention provides for a larger number of input or output channels compared to previously developed configurations. By employing 2D arrays of input/output channels, the channel count is increased from N to N2 for wavelength selective switches.
By way of example, and not of limitation, a switch configuration according to the present invention comprises a wavelength dispersive element, at least one focusing lens, and at least one mirror array. In one embodiment, a one-dimensional (1D) array of mirrors is configured such that each mirror has a dual scanning axis (i.e., each mirror can be scanned in X and Y directions). In another embodiment, two 1D arrays of single-axis mirrors are configured with orthogonal scanning directions. In both embodiments, the number of ports is increased from N to N2. In the embodiment using an array of dual-axis mirrors, the switch is configured as a 2-f system. In the embodiment using two arrays of single-axis mirrors, the switch is configured as a 4-f imaging system.
Further aspects of the invention will be brought out in the following portions of the specification, wherein the detailed description is for the purpose of fully disclosing preferred embodiments of the invention without placing limitations thereon.
The invention will be more fully understood by reference to the following drawings which are for illustrative purposes only:
Referring more specifically to the drawings, for illustrative purposes the present invention is embodied in the apparatus generally shown in
Referring first to
Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the wavelength dispersive element 16 can be a conventional type grating, such as a diffraction grating. In addition, imaging components such as lenses 20 used as means to focus the optical beams onto the mirrors can be microscopic or macroscopic optical elements, lenslets in combination with bulk lenses, and the like.
It will further be appreciated that the mirror arrays would preferably comprise Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) micromirror arrays for both size and reliability considerations. However, control of dual-axis micromirrors is more complex than control of single-axis mirrors. Accordingly, in a second embodiment, instead of using an array of dual-axis mirrors, two 1D arrays of single-axis mirrors are configured with orthogonal scanning directions. As can be seen in the optical switch 100 shown in
In the optical switch 100 shown in
It will be appreciated that the embodiments described above illustrate a 2D output fiber array 56. However, the optical switch can be implemented in either a 1×N2 configuration where the 2D fiber array is the output array or in a N2×1 configuration where the 2D fiber array is the input array. Therefore, it will also be appreciated that an optical switch according to the present invention comprises at least one input channel and at least one output channel, wherein either the input channel or the output channel comprises a 2D fiber array. It will further be appreciated that an optical beam can be switched from any input fiber to any output fiber.
A prototype system according to the embodiment shown in
A prototype system according to the embodiment shown in
As discussed above, discrete collimators can be used in the embodiments of the invention heretofore described. The examples set forth above relied on the use of discrete collimators to simulate a 2D collimator array. However, the large housings of discrete collimators tend to reduce the practical port count, and the alignment of individual collimators is a cumbersome process. On the other hand, it will be appreciated that a monolithic 2D fiber collimator array can overcome the above disadvantages. Accordingly, referring to
A prototype system was constructed according to the embodiment shown in
As can be seen, therefore, an advantage of the present invention over existing practices is that use of a 2D fiber array increases the number of fiber ports from N to N2, where N is the number of input/output ports for a 1D fiber array configuration. Accordingly, the invention facilitates the implementation of multi-port optical add-drop multiplexers with >10 output ports which are desired for dense wavelength division multiplexed (DWDM) networks. By optimizing the mirror and collimator sizes, the port count of the system can be expanded considerably.
Furthermore, it will be appreciated that the invention can achieve these advantages using conventional lenses, gratings, and the like. Additionally, various micromirror and actuator designs can be used for the micromirrors, including, but not limited to, those described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,097,859, incorporated herein by reference, those described in Hah, S. Huang, H. Nguyen, H. Chang, H. Toshiyoshi, and M. C. Wu, “A low voltage, large scan angle MEMS micromirror array with hidden vertical comb-drive actuators for WDM routers,” 2002 Optical Fiber Communication (OFC) Conference, Anaheim, Calif., Mar. 17–24, 2002, incorporated herein by reference, and those described in D. Hah, S. Huang, H. Nguyen, H. Chang, J. C. Tsai, and M. C. Wu, “Low voltage MEMS analog micromirror arrays with hidden vertical comb-drive actuators,” Solid-State Sensor, Actuator, and Microsystems Workshop, June 2002, p. 11–14, incorporated herein by reference.
Although the description above contains many details, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. Therefore, it will be appreciated that the scope of the present invention fully encompasses other embodiments which may become obvious to those skilled in the art, and that the scope of the present invention is accordingly to be limited by nothing other than the appended claims, in which reference to an element in the singular is not intended to mean “one and only one” unless explicitly so stated, but rather “one or more.” All structural, chemical, and functional equivalents to the elements of the above-described preferred embodiment that are known to those of ordinary skill in the art are expressly incorporated herein by reference and are intended to be encompassed by the present claims. Moreover, it is not necessary for a device or method to address each and every problem sought to be solved by the present invention, for it to be encompassed by the present claims. Furthermore, no element, component, or method step in the present disclosure is intended to be dedicated to the public regardless of whether the element, component, or method step is explicitly recited in the claims. No claim element herein is to be construed under the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 112, sixth paragraph, unless the element is expressly recited using the phrase “means for.”
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|U.S. Classification||385/18, 385/31, 385/47|
|International Classification||G02B6/35, G02B6/34, G02B6/26|
|Cooperative Classification||G02B6/3558, G02B6/2931, G02B6/3518, G02B6/356, G02B6/29311, G02B6/3512, G02B6/29383, G02B6/29313|
|European Classification||G02B6/35N8, G02B6/293D2V, G02B6/35N6D, G02B6/293D2R, G02B6/293D2T|
|Jun 15, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, THE, CALI
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:WU, MING-CHIANG;TSAI, JUI-CHE;REEL/FRAME:016693/0168
Effective date: 20050511
|Jan 4, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Jan 6, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8